Sunday, September 25th 2011

Sunday Special: PC Gaming On the Rise, Set To Outsell Consoles by 2014 - NVIDIA

Some claim that PC gaming is dying. However, recent trends as explained by NVIDIA, disagree and it is in fact console gaming that will soon decline, as PCs have some compelling advantages such as ever improving graphics and moddability, to keep the gaming scene thriving. Techgage held a conference call with NVIDIA, where the company explained why PC gaming is on the up and up. PC gaming software sales are growing fast, according to this comparative graph and the predicted crossover point is 2014:

PC processing power is increasing rapidly and is now estimated to be around ten times that of consoles - a compelling advantage and one that will only increase:

So, how long can consoles hold out with their static, aging technology? Not much longer, one would expect.

Another way to measure PC game sales success, is to look at the continuing rise of online digital distribution. As you can see, sales of retail boxed copies have declined, while online sales have shot up:

While not shown on this graph, there's no arguing that the biggest online platform, Steam, is extremely successful and shows no sign of slowing down. PC hardware can now render near photo-realistic graphics that could only be dreamed of a few years ago, making them a much better platform for gaming from a technical perspective. Also, the PC platform is very amenable to modding, which can build huge fanbases for a particular game which helps to drive sales, something consoles sorely lack. Many gamers much prefer the control offered by a keyboard and mouse too. So, console gamers have long mocked PC gamers for the "decline" of their platform, but for how much longer? All this is excellent news for PC enthusiasts who like to play graphically intensive games and gives them a reason to upgrade their hardware regularly to the latest and greatest. No doubt, it makes hardware manufacturers equally happy.

Note that this is NVIDIAs take on it and they have an interest in selling ever more powerful graphics cards, so it's a good idea to watch market trends from various different sources. However, their information seems reasonable enough.

Head on over to the original Techgage article for more details and some comparative screenshots between Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 3. The improvement in realism is really quite amazing and makes BF2 look a bit dated now.Source: Techgage
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64 Comments on Sunday Special: PC Gaming On the Rise, Set To Outsell Consoles by 2014 - NVIDIA

#1
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
As far as I can tell, the console game sales numbers are not artificially inflated, it's just that without digital sales included in the equation the playing field is not level nor accurate.

You also have to ponder whether the sales numbers are orders (by a retailer or whoever) or actual consumer sales.
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#3
THRiLL KiLL
the thing that keeps the console market going is piracy.

looking at the overall picture, consoles have less piracy then pc based titles do.

This is why mmorpgs are so huge on the pc gaming market.
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#4
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
by: THRiLL KiLL
the thing that keeps the console market going is piracy.
looking at the overall picture, consoles have less piracy then pc based titles do.
So somehow piracy (of PC games) makes more people buy console games?
This is why mmorpgs are so huge on the pc gaming market.
More people play MMOs because you can't pirate them?

I are confused by your statements.
Posted on Reply
#5
Fourstaff
by: Kreij

More people play MMOs because you can't pirate them?
He obviously never heard of "private" servers.
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#6
THRiLL KiLL
first. I am a pc gamer. I dont really like console gaming as much as i do pc gaming.

and yes i have heard of private servers for mmorpgs.

I love rpgs /action rpgs. in the past, there were just as many of them on the pc as there were on the consoles. now we are lucky if we get 4 to 5 a year.

As a consumer i would rather have them on my shiny fast pc, and not my slow pos console, wich is slower then my phone.

over the years you have seen quite a few developers go from pc only to console only. from what i have read this is due to piracy, as there are far fewer people doing it on the consoles. this is not my opinion, but what i have read.

As far as i am concerned both platforms are piratable.

http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_5.html
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#7
wickerman
I think the longer they wait to replace the xbox 360 and PS3 the worse it will be, especially as more game companies actively act to kill of the used game market with their single save policy, "online feature activation" policy, and all that other crap. As the used game market goes down and people build up larger collections of games for these older consoles that they just cant get rid of...what motivation do they have to buy a new console? Even if you get backwards compatibility with your older games it's still hard to justify a $400-$500 console upgrade without any initial benefits.

Pc gaming SHOULD be back on the rise given the success of many cheap indie games (minecraft anyone?) and that many games that could have been console exclusives wind up on PC at some point. Sure I hate console ports as they often end up buggy as hell, but I have a great PC and like playing my games maxed out at 2560x1440, and in many cases with mods that improve visuals further. Plus on the topic of MMO's, most of those have gone "freemium" or what ever they wanna call it, where you can play for free but are expected to buy items, DLC, and so forth instead of a set monthly fee. That and look at the HUGE success of the free version of TF2 on steam. I've been watching the Steam Player Stats from Valve since they released it for free and have yet to see a day where CS or CSS shifted TF2 from its top spot of Peak Players or Currently Playing numbers. For any title to knock valve's bread and butter off the top spot shows there is a lot of interest in PC gaming.

Consoles are just out dated in terms of tech and Microsoft and Sony don't seem to willing to do anything about it. The Xbox came out in Nov 2001 and the 360 came out 4 years later in Nov 2005 (according to wikipedia at least :p) so why have we waited nearly 6 years without a peep? PS2 launched Oct 2000, and the PS3 came along in Nov 2006, so even with that large span and all the refreshes in between Sony is more interested in trying to launch and relaunch their mobile gaming platforms that seems to falter at every turn against Nintendo and can't compete with sales figures from iOS and probably Android at this point.

The console market just can't go on with this stale hardware. The devs can only squeeze so much out of it and its ruining their creativity. We just wind up with half baked sequels because its cheaper to reuse old assets than it is to come up with new ones. Console games are just becoming bland. I just don't see where things can go without a major hardware overhaul.
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#8
erocker
by: robal
That's heart-warming but not true.
The release of 'next gen' consoles will change that.

On the other hand, the release on next gen consoles will save PC gaming.
Next gen consoles will have hardware capable of running titles that are worthy of PC. No more "DX9 console ports". ...for at least couple of years
Also, I'm hoping that XBOX7XX <> PC development will become more unified, and it will be cheaper (and commercially 'obvious') to develop to both platforms.
When "next-gen" consoles are released, hardware wise they will already be outdated.
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#10
LAN_deRf_HA
I like how the console revenue decline doesn't start until 2012; the future.

Hey, don't worry about getting cancer. According to some charts I found by 2013 we'll discover eating your own poo will cure it. And it must be true; I mean it was on a chart made by a top manure supplier.
Posted on Reply
#11
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
#1: NVIDIA is doing this because they lost the console race. That is, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have announced they're using AMD GPUs, not NVIDIA. PC, therefore, is NVIDIA's only field looking 5-10 years ahead. They need to push PC gaming because without it, they're business takes a massive hit.

#2: That chart doesn't go back to when the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii debuted. Game sales are falling off on all three consoles because the innovation has ended (rince and repeat phase). Once the next generation of consoles come out, PC sales are going to look relative weak again.

#3: The reason for virtually any and all increases in PC sales are the huge influx of good indie games that sell for $20 or less. The big publishers with their $50 titles has shown weakness for a long time now.

#4: Are they including smartphone and tablet games in their figures? If so, #3 applies here in a big way.
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#12
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: LAN_deRf_HA
I like how the console revenue decline doesn't start until 2012; the future.
Yes, that's a good point. :) But come on man, haven't you ever heard of time travel? nvidia know this...

by: LAN_deRf_HA
Hey, don't worry about getting cancer. According to some charts I found by 2013 we'll discover eating your own poo will cure it. And it must be true; I mean it was on a chart made by a top manure supplier.
Such delicious sarcasm - you made me spill my coffee with laughter. :roll:
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#13
Super XP
This is good news for gaming overall. PC gaming rocks in graphics and sound. This alone hopefully will modivate game developers to design the games in PC then port them over to consoles....
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#14
[H]@RD5TUFF
Can we please get some OC now!!!!:nutkick:
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#15
Mussels
Moderprator
yay, nvidia justifies my hobbies!
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#16
[H]@RD5TUFF
by: Mussels
yay, nvidia justifies my hobbies!
Validation at last! :rolleyes: :toast:
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#17
qwerty_lesh
I saw DNF played on 360 and on PC and the graphics on 360 are ^%$# disgusting. :shadedshu

this whole article may be BS but I really wish it wasn't, but alas, it is just Green team bull spackle.
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#18
[H]@RD5TUFF
by: qwerty_lesh
I saw DNF played on 360 and on PC and the graphics on 360 are ^%$# disgusting. :shadedshu

this whole article may be BS but I really wish it wasn't, but alas, it is just Green team bull spackle.
I really hope it's not as regardless of which team you cheer for, this is good news.
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#19
TheMailMan78
Big Member
So a company released a bunch of graphs saying their main market is growing? Yeah and? WTF did you expect them to say their market is shrinking? lol.
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#20
qwerty_lesh
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
I really hope it's not as regardless of which team you cheer for, this is good news.
im not a fanboy I go for whats good at the time, thought most did :nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#21
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
by: FordGT90Concept
#1: NVIDIA is doing this because they lost the console race. That is, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have announced they're using AMD GPUs, not NVIDIA. PC, therefore, is NVIDIA's only field looking 5-10 years ahead. They need to push PC gaming because without it, they're business takes a massive hit.
Nvidia has been diversifying it's product lines for years. Weaker PC game sales will affect them, but not as dramatically as it would have 5 or more years ago.
The truth is ... PC game sales are on an upswing at the moment.
This is good news as developers and publishers will be more likely to risk $$$ in a strengthening market than in a declining one.
#2: That chart doesn't go back to when the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii debuted. Game sales are falling off on all three consoles because the innovation has ended (rince and repeat phase). Once the next generation of consoles come out, PC sales are going to look relative weak again.
I agree. It's the natural games sales cycle that occurs when new hardware hits the market.
PC sales may not decline, but when compared to console sales will appear weak.
#3: The reason for virtually any and all increases in PC sales are the huge influx of good indie games that sell for $20 or less. The big publishers with their $50 titles has shown weakness for a long time now.
Indie developers are doing wonders for the PC market. Some of the new games coming out are exceptionally good. However, game sales numbers is not the same a game sales dollars.
Indie developers do not have the costs that a major studio has to make AAA games.
Some of the $50+ titles are showing anemic sales, but the sole reason for that is the games are tired, old rehahses of what has gone before or they are just a tower of suck.
Well done, costly, AAA games are still making buttloads of money.
#4: Are they including smartphone and tablet games in their figures? If so, #3 applies here in a big way.
Smartphone and tablet games fall under "mobile platforms" and are usually included in the breakdown (depending upon where you get the info).
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#22
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Ok, maybe it is just me but this slide makes no sense at all to me. WTF is nVidia smoking to even try to pass that off. I mean I get that they just lost bids for both next gen consoles to AMD and want to downplay consoles, but this slide is just stupid.

So for the past 3 years PC sales have gone up, so they assume that for the next 3 years they will continue to go up. Ok, that is fine. However, for the past 3 years console sales have been going up too. So why, for any reason, would they assume that console sales will go down for the next 3 years? What sense does that make?

So

Past growth in PCs = Future Growth in PCs

but

Past growth in Consoles = Future decline in Consoles

I want what they're smokin'.

Posted on Reply
#23
Mussels
Moderprator
because the rate of growth is slowing, and no new consoles are due til 2015
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#24
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
Nvidias projection of sales $$ is based upon current trends (and probably has some fudge factor in there too).
They could be correct, but to cast your line 4 years out and try to hook a fish is being pretty optimistic (read: It's rainbows and unicorns for the shareholders).
A couple of new, killer console games, released on the current hardware, could change what occurs in sales dramatically in the next few years.

But even so, an increase in PC games sales $$ is a good thing for the PC gaming community.
Posted on Reply
#25
RejZoR
by: Kreij
All games are developed "on" PC hardware, just not "for" PC hardware.
There are no software developement environments that run on a console, AFAIK.
Would be a nightmare writing code with a controller. :D
Just as it is a nightmare for us PC gamers to use stupid arrow keys to navigate main menus... we have a poining device called "mouse"... For those developers who still don't get it...
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